井底之蛙

1/16/2006

Rice Paddies

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 8:26 am

Following Jonathan’s lead, here is my syllabus for History of East Asia, more commonly known as Rice Paddies. I suppose the first question to answer is why I teach this class at all. Lots of people don’t any more. The idea that you can cover all of the history of East Asia in one class is a relic of the elder days. Fairbank created the basic course and called it Rice Paddies in the 1950s, and from there it spread. At one point offering any classes on the history of Asia mean you were some sort of uber-fancy sinological training institute. Rice Paddies was the class that colleges all over the country eventually started teaching, which meant that they had to hire someone to teach it, and add Asia as a regular part of the curriculum, thus providing me with a job. (Thank you John K. Fairbank.) (more…)

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